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Students Draw Low Marks On 4th-Grade Writing Tests

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The numbers for the state's fourth-grade writing tests should be out, but they are not because there is a problem with the scores.

State school leaders held up grading of tests to check reliability of scores.

North Carolina school testing director Lou Fabrizio said he stopped the grading process to investigate abnormally low scores across the state in this year's test. As a result, test results for fourth-graders will be late.

The state's assessment team took a look at how an out-of-state company graded the tests and the reliability of the test itself. The test is OK, but North Carolina students did not do well.

The results of the test may affect next year's fifth-graders, who have to pass the writing test to be promoted to sixth-grade.

Fabrizio said schools may not have focused as much on the writing test as much this year because it is a new test, and it will not count in the growth part of the ABC's accountability program.

The fourth-grade results should be ready in mid-June. Many school districts picked up seventh-grade test results on Friday because they were not affected by the grading review.